Meet the new D.C. CFO

September 26, 2013

Vincent Gray will hand the financial reins now held Natwar Gandhi to a newcomer Thursday. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

An era of District government ends today: At noon, Mayor Vincent C. Gray is set to introduce his nominee for chief financial officer – Jeff DeWitt, Phoenix’s current CFO and a 24-year veteran of the finance office there. It’s a pick that appears to make a clean break from the post-control-board period of D.C. government finance, an era that began with Anthony Williams’s appointment as CFO and continued with Williams’ appointment of trusted deputy Natwar M. Gandhi in 2000. DeWitt arrives amid big yearly surpluses and high-rated bond issues, but also ongoing questions about the city’s financial operations, particularly in the tax office. From Gray, who talks regularly about the importance of “fiscal stability,” expect to hear much about how DeWitt helped guide Phoenix through the collapse of the housing market there, an event that decimated government revenues.

In other news:

Vincent Gray reveals his shutdown plan: Declare the whole D.C. government essential (PostHuffPoWBJWaTimesDCistNYTCNNRoll CallWUSA-TVWTOPWAMU-FMWNEW-FMWRC-TV)

“[T]his issue is something I could applaud a public official for going to jail over” (Post)

Ron Machen warns his deputies a shutdown might mean a pay cut (HuffPo)

In case you care what Joe diGenova thinks of all this (Loose Lips)

Five other wonderful ways to defy our federal overlords (Wonkblog)

Major hiccup for District’s health insurance exchange could fuel national doubts (PostWonkblogWSJ)

D.C. is short on primary care physicians, Board of Medicine finds (Post)

Chilling new details, surveillance video released from Navy Yard killings (Post)

District’s emergency manager explains how scads of different responders manage to work together during something like this (Atlantic)

Is “grandstanding” and a possible mayoral run behind David Catania’s aggressive questioning of D.C. test scores? (Post editorial)

Citywide SAT scores rise modestly, still lag national average (Post)

City planners and NCPC weigh in on Height Act — now what will Darrell Issa do? (Post)

In an expensive city, “rapid rehousing” is of limited utility (Housing Complex)

Nonprofit to east-of-the-river residents: Buy houses now before gentrification arrives (DCist)

D.C. Council has many, many questions about the D.C. United stadium deal (Post)

Some meat is placed on the bones of the Akridge land swap (Capital Business)

Cab drivers rally as credit-card deadline looms; Taxi Commission is unsympathetic (WAMU-FMWashingtonianCity DeskDCist)

This year’s D.C. traffic deaths already outpace last year’s (Post)

Firefighter’s assault claim against chief is dropped by prosecutors (Post)

David Grosso on marijuana: “The tide is turning in this country toward legalization” (Blade)

Robert Bobb: “I don’t know if I am going to run for mayor” (Informer)

Needle exchange means fewer HIV new cases, officials say (WAMU-FM)

Is there a future for the socialist group house in modern D.C.? (City Paper)

Last defendant in Woodley Park Metro killing pleads guilty to first-degree murder (Post)

Jim Graham and Vincent Orange have no idea how the restaurant business works, columnist alleges (Blade)

Behind the new class-action lawsuit challenging D.C. tax sales (Legal Times)

Do school uniforms in D.C. have to cost so much? (GGW)

Even the strip clubs are gentrifying (WBJ)

A. Knighton Stanley, civil rights leader and long-prominent D.C. pastor, dies at 76 (Post)

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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Mike DeBonis · September 25, 2013